First Trust Bank to cease issuing own banknotes

Customers can continue to spend, accept and lodge First Trust Bank banknotes as normal until midnight on 30th June 2022. Credit: UTV

First Trust Bank has announced plans to gradually stop issuing its own banknotes next year.

The Bank revealed it will switch to dispensing Bank of England banknotes from its ATM network.

First Trust said the decision had been a ‘commercial’ one which took into account the increasing use of digital payment methods and mobile technology.

This decision will mean:

  • First Trust Bank banknotes will remain legal currency until midnight on 30thJune 2022 and can be spent or lodged into bank accounts as normal. Noteholders will experience no change in how they can use First Trust Bank banknotes until then.

  • First Trust Bank is gradually withdrawing its own banknotes from circulation and will begin dispensing Bank of England banknotes instead from its ATM network.

  • After 30th June 2022 anyone still holding a First Trust Bank banknote can exchange these for Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent value, in person at any First Trust Bank branch at no cost. There is no time limit on this.

  • Arrangements have been made with the Post Office where First Trust Bank banknotes can be exchanged for sterling banknotes of equivalent value in all of its outlets across the UK, free of charge, after 30th June 2022 until 30th June 2024.

Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank, said: “First Trust Bank’s banknotes account for 11% of notes in circulation in Northern Ireland and 0.4% of notes in circulation across the UK (as of 31.12.18). For most people this decision means they should begin receiving Bank of England banknotes instead of First Trust Bank banknotes from our ATM network. Any of our banknotes currently in circulation can be used as normal until 30th June 2022, with special exchange arrangements in place after that date for any remaining banknotes in circulation.”

“Our decision is solely in respect of our own banknote issuance, and we will continue to handle Bank of England banknotes or sterling banknotes issued by any of the other authorised note issuing banks in Northern Ireland and Scotland as normal.”

"First Trust Bank remains fully committed to Northern Ireland and supporting our customers by offering digitally-enabled personal products and services, business banking with a local market presence and a mortgage proposition to intermediary and direct markets.Over the last year we have invested £10m in transforming our business and we continue to invest in our products and services, including ongoing digital investment."